Brain Snack – 3 Steps to Improve Employee Engagement

Employee engagement has been around for a long time. But in a recent survey, we conducted business leaders still named engagement
as one of their most pressing challenges. So what is engagement? If you’re engaged,
you have high levels of energy at work, you’re enthusiastic about your work,
and you are immersed in your work activities. If you’re a manager, you should also take
note that you’re potentially the biggest influence on the engagement levels of your staff. Hundreds of studies have shown that engaged employees are more productive, deliver better customer service are more innovative, and are more likely to remain at your organisation. To illustrate this, every year, Fortune magazine publishes their list of hundred best companies to work for. Now, this is a great list to be on but how many of you know that those companies also get two times the job applications and half the employee turnover compared to their competitors? Obviously, people want to work for companies that treat them well but does this lead to better business outcomes? Now, longitudinal research has indicated that
those companies who make the grade do in fact have higher profitability, company valuations and shareholder returns compared to their peers who did not make the list. This is a proven but complex relationship,
often with many moving parts. But there are some simple things managers can do to
boost engagement in their teams and departments. First, your engagement initiatives
will fail If you think of it as a once-off activity. It is not an assessment or a
team building exercise by itself. It is an ongoing thing. So make sure that whatever
you do, it is a regular thing. This is becoming increasingly important with virtual
teams, instant messaging isn’t enough. So make sure to make regular time for video
conferencing and physical team get togethers where people can actually see each other and
interact. Second, people like working as part of a team
with those who do being twice as likely to be fully engaged. As manager it is
your job to include people facilitate conversations, get tough topics out in the open, and then
facilitate safe dialogue between members of your team. Don’t let anyone dominate the conversation. Conversational turn-taking has been shown to greatly improved team effectiveness. Lastly, measure engagement but make sure to
link it with team and organizational outcomes. Engagement levels in your team or your
organization can become a highly effective lead indicator of success and as such deserves
a place on your scorecard. This will also help you to continuously pay
attention to it greatly improving the odds of you deriving its benefits.

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